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Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Cleveland
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Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

On a Friday next month, our flight arrives very early, and we would like recomendations to travel to France during one of our few days in Geneva. (my college student traveling with me is interested.)

Any suggestions on a train from GVA to a city location at the outskirts or popular visited neighboring cities that is do-able in a short day with return to GVA (as we are staying near the airport? Thanks and Best Regards ~ D~

London
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1. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Geneva's SNCF (French railway) station is shut right now. Since you are near the airport, why not take a shuttle bus (e.g. Chamexpress) to Chamonix. Lovely mountain town. Chance to go up the Aiguille du Midi for spectacular views. Bus takes 70-90 mins and needs to be prebooked.

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2. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

France is a rather large country. Where do you want to go? To the mountain? To the South (Avignon is 3 hours away by TGV)? Elsewhere?

Cleveland
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3. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

JT, Arriving to GVA early we would check our bags with the hotel early, then, we were thinking of a shorter route and sightseeing this first day. An "hour or less" travel into France as we would need to return to GVA later in the day to get our baggage and check in to the hotel. Would the rail station at GVA be the best link for this? Anyway,

I was hoping for suggestions on notable old town or historic sights or locations not to be missed if one had the chance for a short visit into the France Border (some possible shopping included). It is also our first time through GVA and I've been reading this forum as the TA folks are extreemely helpful. Much apreciated, D~

Cleveland
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4. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Thanks JT, this " shuttle bus (e.g. Chamexpress) to Chamonix" is a possibility too. I didn't know the rails were down, we'll be there mid-May. Thanks in advance. D~

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5. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

If you want a historic town, consider Yvoire. Train to Nyon and boat across Lake Geneva to Yvoire on the French side. Not quite a town - and would almost seem Disney were it not the fact that it is just a stunningly preserved medieval French village in a gorgeous location. Very easy for a day trip.

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6. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

So you meant day trips...

I see three possibilities (more certainly exist):

- Yvoire (by boat or train plus boat via Nyon)

- Chamonix and Aiguilles du Midi: there are in addition to the private transfers, public buses. Details on http://gare-routiere.ch/: drop-down menu on the bottom right of the page. Most of the resorts will be listed under "Alpine resorts".

- Annecy (same as above, but select "Regular line region bordercross"). To Annecy, go via St-Julien (shorter).

Cleveland
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7. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Hi, Thanks for the tips,

I think we'll go to Annecy. I did the pull down menue on (http://gare-routiere.ch) and there is 3 choices for Annecy and I didn't see the option for the (shorter)via St-Julien? and in Annecy, it stops where?

The website of the GR was't too clear for me, If I buy a roundtrip is a set time needed?

Can I just purchase these tickets the morning of our travel? (1st plan to stop near the Annecy downtown at river /lake Le Thiou.)

Also our hotel HI is near the airport so I assume the best location to get to these busses is there somewhere?

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8. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

http://gare-routiere.ch/ is an horrendous website, I am afraid. Tickets can be bought in the bus, or online. On the pdf schedules you downloaded, page 6 and 7, you have all the stops indicated. Sometime the bus leaves from Geneva down-toen "Gare Routiere" and then go to the airport before continuing to Annecy, sometime it is the contrary. If HI stands for Holiday Inn (btw beware this is an "Express" one), then, yes, it makes sense to leave from the airport. In Annecy, there are four stops. I think "Gare Routière" should be the closest to Le Thiou (that is quite close from Annecy train station).

Martigny...
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9. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Annecy is lovely and worth the effort to get there, but can best (fastest!) be reached by car from the GVA airport. I would suggest renting a car for the day. You then just hop on the autoroute, cross into France at Bardonnex (10mins if traffic is not rush hour) and follow signs to Cruseilles and Annecy. Autoroute all the way. Tolls to pay in France though. Park in the very centre of town - large parking (underground) next to the lake. You can then walk around the old town, take a lake boat etc. Total travel time from the airport, again not in rush hour traffic, should be about 45 mins. It is the one place - aside from Chamonix - that I really think renting a car to get to and back makes sense. Even if the Eaux-Vives station were open in Geneva, getting to Annecy by train takes a lot of time...

Cleveland
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10. Re: Is a short France trip possible while at GVA a few days?

Hi, If we take the bus to Annecy and buy an open ended ticket for the return, how can I be sure we both will get a seat since as I did not choose the last or second last return travel bus back to GVA? is there normally always seating gauranteed?

(I really would personally drive (I will have to see how much more than the 62chf it is but the liability/unknown/signs not in english/ local laws makes me uneasy, include my insurance rates here would need to be stepped up)